Bipolar Meltdown

Image: Cactus. Photo by MikeBirdy at

I share this extraordinary post with the permission of the writer. He takes the reader inside his experience of a manic episode.

Millions of people worldwide suffer from bipolar disorder. It isn’t a joke and should never be trivialized. I have watched my own son battle with it for the ten years since his diagnosis, and for many years before that, when we knew there was Something but had no name for it.

We are each made in the image of the Holy One. That includes bipolar sufferers. As this writer points out, bipolar is part of who he is. Until we can appreciate that all who suffer with mental illness participate equally as holders of the divine spark, we are probably doomed to mistreat and fear them.

So I invite you to read and get to know this young man. He reminds me a lot of my son.

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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

8 thoughts on “Bipolar Meltdown”

  1. I really appreciate you sharing openly about mental health issues in your family and our community. I’m bi-polar, too, and although I am doing pretty well and work full time, it’s not always easy and I’m constantly worried about being judged or scrutinized or feared because of my illness–at work or at temple. People have a fear of mental illness and there’s a big stigma even today around depression and bi-polar.

    1. Michelle, I am glad that you are doing well. I am grateful to my son for giving me permission to identify his diagnosis publicly. It is completely unfair that you and he have to deal not only with a debilitating illness but stigma as well. May the day come soon when people understand it for what it is: an illness no different from having diabetes or lupus, life altering but not anything scary.

    1. You are very welcome. I did it from my phone, so I couldn’t let you know about it directly – I apologize for doing that. Thank you for putting permission in your wonderful article!

      1. No worries at all, and no problem! I’m trying to help as many people in the world as I can—with my limited experience and knowledge as a teen, of course.

        1. Luke, that kind of first-hand account will do more to clear up misconceptions about bipolar disorder than anything else I can imagine. You are a teen? You are also an excellent writer!

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